Crisis breeds short memories

by Stephen Roach

Hope always seems to spring eternal in liquidity-driven financial markets. That is very much the case today in the aftermath of the biggest liquidity injection in modern history.

Unfortunately, along with that hope comes an acute sense of short-term memory loss – notably, a failure on the part of the broad consensus of investors to grasp the toughest lessons of the Great Crisis and Recession of 2008-09. This is a dangerous combination for increasingly frothy financial markets.

This crisis was, first and foremost, about the unsustainability of macro imbalances – imbalances within and between nations – as well as about the egregious flaws in policies, regulatory structures, and risk-management practices that allowed these imbalances to take the world to the brink.

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